Vuelta: Menchov retakes gold jersey

Rabobank's Denis Menchov retakes the leader's gold jersey thanks to his time trial victory on Sunday

Rabobank’s Denis Menchov retakes the leader’s gold jersey thanks to his time trial victory on Sunday

PIC BY TIM DE WAELE Denis Menchov, winner of the opening stage time trial of the Tour of Spain last weekend, confirmed his status as the fastest against the clock on Sunday, winning the stage nine time trial in Lloret de Mar. In doing so, Rabobank’s Menchov took back the leader’s gold jersey from Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros), and now leads the race by 47 seconds from the defending champion, with CSC’s Carlos Sastre in third. One of the earlier starters, Uwe Peschel (Gerolsteiner), set the fastest time of the day for a time, posting 1.02.33 for the 48km course, but his time faded as the big guns came home, with Menchov, the penultimate man to leave the start ramp, ahead of Heras, blitzing the course in 1.00.54. Procycling columnist Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel) was another big winner of the day, coming home sixth in 1.02.10, jumping to fifth overall from 11th at the start of the day, and now finds himself 3.07 down on the Russian. Heras received a 10-second penalty for having ridden outside the cones marking the only semi-closed circuit, and will be looking to make up those, plus the other 37 seconds, on Menchov in the coming week as the race heads into the mountains. Stage 9, Lloret de Mar – Lloret de Mar 1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 48km in 1.00.54 2 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 0.09 3 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears 0.39 4 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC 0.41 5 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.59 6 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 1.16 7 Victor Hugo Pena (Col) Phonak 1.36 8 Uwe Peschel (Ger) Gerolsteiner 1.39 9 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak 1.45 10 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak 1.47 Overall 1 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 34.23.53 2 Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.47 3 Carlos Sastre (Spa) CSC 1.36 4 Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears 1.53 5 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 3.07 6 David Blanco (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 3.23 7 Carlos Garcia Quesada (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 3.29 8 Santos Gonzalez (Spa) Phonak 3.38 9 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Liberty Seguros 3.46 10 Ruben Plaza (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 4.11 20 Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 6.46